Class Prevails Against Defiant Scunthorpe
Glandford Park`s record crowd witnessed an all-action, entertaining, fourth round cup tie, as Manchester City saw off challengers Scunthorpe 4-2. Goals from Petrov, Onuoha, Sylvinho and possibly a last from Robinho, ensured Manchester City safely entered the 5th round draw where a home tie against Stoke awaits.
City`s class finally prevailed against a sturdy Iron`s side on a cold, bleak afternoon in South Humberside. With our main focus a midweek Manchester derby, Mancini took the opportunity to rest first team stars and replace them with young, budding talent. Robinho also made the starting eleven, despite rumours circulating over a possible move for the Brazilian.
Having previously faced a Scunthorpe side, City knew what was possibly expected from the Championship outfit. City hammered Scunthorpe 5-1 in the League Cup tie so confidence would be extremely high.
After only 3 minutes, Manchester City were already celebrating a well taken goal from the left boot of Martin Petrov. The winger combined with the mercurial Robinho who neatly set up Petrov, The Bulgarian smashed his left footed shot into the corner past Iron`s keeper Murphy.
With the unfortunate possibility of a repeat score line for Scunthorpe they battled well. Defiant and well rehearsed Scunthorpe began to control proceedings and were disappointed not to be level soon after. Nonchalant and too casual in possession, City gifted the hosts with two great opportunities. Byrne and Hayes were the guilty culprits, Byrne hitting the bar with a close range header, before Hayes couldn`t steer home a close range poke.
Somewhat buoyant and resurgent the pressure was mounting on City. A fortuitous goal allowed Scunthorpe back on level terms with an unenviable linesman decision. A well disciplined backline stood firm and allowed Hayes to advance in to an offside position. The striker then picked up the loose ball from an offside position and slotted home from 10 yards. However, unable to decide whether the goal was onside or offside, the linesman unknowingly looked at the referee to suggest everything was acceptable.
The match finally burst into an even cup tie, both sides looking nervous, under pressure and unwilling to make the next mistake. City had a much needed wake up call and began to dominate possession in admirable fashion. Slick interchanges across midfield and trickery upfront allowed City to take a much needed lead into the break.
After several missed changes it was a first F.A Cup goal from Academy graduate and defender Nedum Onuoha that granted City a lead on the cusp of first half stoppage time. Ireland looked sublime creating several chances. The midfielder finally contributed with an assist as his ball found the onrushing Onuoha, the defender, composed and unfazed, placed the ball under the Scunthorpe keeper.
City entered the second half positive and upbeat as they again looked to break the shackles of the Iron`s defence. With a crowd captivated in the first half the second also failed to disappoint. Both sides were looking for a 5th round tie with several passages of play in the oppositions half. Unfortunately, neither side could sit comfortably as fans and managers alike looked pensive in the dugouts.
Superior in the opposing territory, City clinched a sensational third goal. Sylvinho, another player who also netted his first F.A Cup goal, took aim from 35 yards to unleash a swerving thunderbolt into the roof of Murphy`s net. His green boots crisply struck the ball to score a goal of the tournament contender.
Scunthorpe felt clearly aggrieved to be two goals down after a hard fought display. The talent and sublime skill of Manchester City, especially Robinho, nearly allowed us to add to the three goals previously scored. Greeted with three fantastic opportunities, we were largely wasteful. Iron`s keeper Murphy stood strong and pulled off several phenomenal saves to deny the fourth.
With the neutrals and home fans urging Scunthorpe along, desperate for an equaliser, they used this to their advantage. Against the run of play Scunthorpe scored to the disbelief of Boyata, who deflected a throw into his own goal.
A final flourish of attacks awaited us but unable to conjure any serious opportunities it was Robinho who put the icing on the fourth round cake. After missing several chances, in a strong performance from Robinho, the Brazilian finally scored. Scunthorpe`s defence was undone by enjoyable and superior football as Robinho smashed home his right footed effort.
A valuable cup win for City after a busy period. Still pursuing trophies in all competitions entered, we looked unfazed and the squad rotation fitted perfectly. Young guns Boyata and Ibrahim greatly impressed and after some recent unsatisfactory performances from Robinho, the winger was at the heart of everything pleasing. Despite a tough and well organised battle put forward by Scunthorpe a combination of youth and experience from City ensured no cup exit.
FT- 2 - 4